A novel fluorescent coronenyl-phospholipid analogue for investigations of submicrosecond lipid fluctuations

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Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, ISSN: 0009-3084, Vol: 109, Issue: 2, Page: 145-156

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Lesley Davenport; Bo Shen; Troy W. Joseph; Michael P. Straher
Elsevier BV
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Chemistry
article description
A fluorescent phospholipid derivative, the 2′-(4-coronenylbutyric) ester of lyso-egg phosphatidylcholine, has been synthesized for use in studies of submicrosecond lipid dynamics. Synthesis of the phospholipid derivative involves Friedel–Crafts acylation of free coronene, followed by a Huang–Minlon reduction to yield the fatty-acyl derivative, 4-coronenylbutyric acid. Esterification of the carboxylic acid with lyso-phosphatidylcholine is achieved through a mixed anhydride intermediate. The resultant coronenyl-phospholipid adduct (Cor-PC) has been incorporated into sonicated unilamellar vesicles of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) for dynamic lipid studies. Fluorescence quenching studies using potassium iodide, together with steady-state emission anisotropy (EA) measurements, confirm that the coronene moiety of the phospholipid adduct resides towards the head group interfacial region of the lipid bilayer. Unique properties of this new fluorescent phospholipid adduct are its long mean fluorescence lifetime ( τ av ∼112 ns at 14°C), the planar symmetry of the fluorophore and its defined bilayer location. As a consequence, depolarizing motions of the coronene moiety target submicrosecond ‘gel–fluid’ lipid dynamics arising from a relatively narrow bilayer distribution. Our data suggest that the sensitivity of this new long-lived fluorescent phospholipid analogue to localized transverse submicrosecond lipid dynamics can provide important biological insights into varied processes including lipid–peptide interactions, bilayer fluidity gradients and passive ion transport.